2,756 research outputs found

    Protein phosphatase 2A propels follicular T helper cell development in lupus

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    Follicular helper T (Tfh) cells are important for generating humoral immune responses by helping B cells form germinal centers (GCs) and the production of high-affinity antibodies. However, aberrant Tfh cell expansion also contributes to the generation of self-reactive autoantibodies and promotes autoantibody-mediated autoimmune diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Protein phosphatase 2A catalytic subunit alpha isoform (PP2A Cα) expression levels are elevated in peripheral T cells of SLE patients and positively correlate with autoantibody titers and disease activity. Here, we demonstrate a critical role of PP2A in Tfh differentiation by using T cell restricted PP2A Cα deficient mice. We observed impaired Tfh differentiation and GC response in two different classical Tfh induction models. Mechanistic studies revealed that downregulation of protein translation of the Tfh lineage transcription factor BCL6 in PP2A deficient T cells. Importantly, we found that PP2A deficiency by either gene knockout or chemical inhibition alleviated lupus severity in mice. Lastly, we confirmed a positive correlation between PP2A Cα and BCL6 protein levels in human CD4 T cells from patients with SLE. In summary, our study revealed a critical role of PP2A in regulating Tfh cells and suggests it is a potential therapeutic target for lupus

    Eosinophil trafficking in allergen-mediated pulmonary inflammation relies on IL-13–driven CCL-11 and CCL-24 production by tissue fibroblasts and myeloid cells

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    Background: The immunologic mechanisms underlying pulmonary type 2 inflammation, including the dynamics of eosinophil recruitment to the lungs, still need to be elucidated. Objective: We sought to investigate how IL-13–producing TH2 effector cells trigger eosinophil migration in house dust mite (HDM)-driven allergic pulmonary inflammation. Methods: Multiparameter and molecular profiling of murine lungs with HDM-induced allergy was investigated in the absence of IL-13 signaling by using IL-13Rα1–deficient mice and separately through adoptive transfer of CD4+ T cells from IL-5–deficient mice into TCRα–/– mice before allergic inflammation. Results: We demonstrated through single-cell techniques that HDM-driven pulmonary inflammation displays a profile characterized by TH2 effector cell–induced IL-13–dominated eosinophilic inflammation. Using HDM-sensitized IL-13Rα1–/– mice, we found a marked reduction in the influx of eosinophils into the lungs along with a significant downregulation of both CCL-11 and CCL-24. We further found that eosinophil trafficking to the lung relies on production of IL-13–driven CCL-11 and CCL-24 by fibroblasts and Ly6C+ (so-called classical) monocytes. Moreover, this IL-13–mediated eotaxin-dependent eosinophil influx to the lung tissue required IL-5–induced eosinophilia. Finally, we demonstrated that this IL-13–driven eosinophil-dominated pulmonary inflammation was critical for limiting bystander lung transiting Ascaris parasites in a model of allergy and helminth interaction. Conclusion: Our data suggest that IL-5–dependent allergen-specific TH2 effector cell response and subsequent signaling through the IL-13/IL-13Rα1 axis in fibroblasts and myeloid cells regulate the eotaxin-dependent recruitment of eosinophils to the lungs, with multiple downstream consequences, including bystander control of lung transiting parasitic helminths

    Bose-Einstein Condensation in Gap-Confined Exciton-Polariton States

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    The development of patterned multi-quantum well heterostructures in GaAs/AlGaAs waveguides has recently allowed to achieve exciton-polariton condensation in a topologically protected bound state in the continuum (BIC). Remarkably, condensation occurred above a saddle point of the polariton dispersion. A rigorous analysis of the condensation phenomenon in these systems, as well as the role of the BIC, is still missing. In the present Letter we theoretically and experimentally fill this gap, by showing that polariton confinement resulting from the negative effective mass and the photonic energy gap in the dispersion play a key role in enhancing the relaxation towards the condensed state. In fact, our results show that low-threshold polariton condensation is achieved within the effective trap created by the exciting laser spot regardless of whether the resulting confined mode is long-lived (polariton BIC) or short-lived (lossy mode). In both cases, the spatial quantization of the polariton condensate and the threshold differences associated to the corresponding state lifetime are measured and characterized. For a given negative mass, a slightly lower condensation threshold from the polariton BIC mode is found and associated to its suppressed radiative losses as compared to the lossy one

    Interpretable inverse-designed cavity for on-chip nonlinear and quantum optics

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    Inverse design is a powerful tool in wave-physics and in particular in photonics for compact, high-performance devices. To date, applications have mostly been limited to linear systems and it has rarely been investigated or demonstrated in the nonlinear regime. In addition, the "black box" nature of inverse design techniques has hindered the understanding of optimized inverse-designed structures. We propose an inverse design method with interpretable results to enhance the efficiency of on-chip photon generation rate through nonlinear processes by controlling the effective phase-matching conditions. We fabricate and characterize a compact, inverse-designed device using a silicon-on-insulator platform that allows a spontaneous four-wave mixing process to generate photon pairs at 1.1MHz with a coincidence to accidental ratio of 162. Our design method accounts for fabrication constraints and can be used for scalable quantum light sources in large-scale communication and computing applications

    Mobile application to support oncology patients during treatment on patient outcomes: Evidence from a randomized controlled trial

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    Abstract Background Cancer treatment requires substantial demands on patients and their caregivers. Mobile apps can provide support for self‐management during oncology treatment, but few have been rigorously evaluated. Methods A 3‐month randomized controlled trial was conducted at a large cancer center to evaluate the efficacy of an app (LivingWith®) that provides self‐management support during cancer treatment on quality of life and health care utilization. Patients in chemotherapy treatment were randomized into the intervention (n = 113) and control group (n = 111). Intervention group participants agreed to use the app weekly for 3 months, and all participants completed a survey at enrollment and after 3 months to evaluate changes in quality of life and health care utilization. Results Retention rate was 75.4% with 169 participants completing the follow‐up survey. The intervention group reported 0.74 fewer medical office visits (p = 0.043) and 0.24 fewer visits with a mental health professional (p = 0.061) during the 3 and month intervention compared with controls. There were no significant changes by study group in quality of life, or emergency room and urgent care visits. Among intervention participants, 75.3% reported using the app and on average, used it 11.7 times during the 3‐month intervention. Reasons for not using the app among intervention participants included lack of time, lack of interest in apps, and usability challenges. Conclusions and Relevance Apps are inexpensive and scalable tools that can provide additional support for individuals coping with complex cancer treatments. This trial provides evidence that a well‐designed oncology support app used during chemotherapy resulted in fewer clinic visits. Still, nearly a quarter of participants randomized to the intervention arm reported never using the app due to personal preference and usability challenges, which points to future opportunities for calibrating target user population and improving user‐centered design. Clinicaltrials.gov identifier: NCT04331678

    Mysticism and Medieval Society: Stories and Their Impact

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    The Middle Ages was a time when mysticism often overtook reality. Creatures such as witches, dragons, and sciapods were thought to be real, and people took precautions against them. While tales of these creatures entertain us today, their presence in the minds of the medieval society in which they developed had dangerous consequences. The myth of witches allowed for the persecution of people who defied the social order and committed innocent acts that were rebranded as heresy. The myth of dragons was used to alienate supposed enemies of the Christian religion. These myths were so influential that their images have come to pervade modern day popular culture, where they have been depicted as both good and evil figures and have inspired many well-known characters. This study considers the way in which these myths developed, particularly during the Middle Ages, and how they have come to influence the world of today, while taking care to understand the power such tales can have.https://stars.library.ucf.edu/hip-2023fall/1059/thumbnail.jp

    Nature-themed video intervention may improve cardiovascular safety of psilocybin-assisted therapy for alcohol use disorder

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    IntroductionPsychedelic-assisted therapy with psilocybin has shown promise in Phase 2 trials for alcohol use disorder (AUD). Set and setting, particularly factors facilitating a connection with nature, may positively influence the psychedelic experience and therapeutic outcomes. But to date, randomized controlled trials of interventions to enhance set and setting for psychedelic-assisted therapy are lacking.MethodsThis was a pilot randomized, controlled trial of Visual Healing, a nature-themed video intervention to optimize set and setting, versus Standard set and setting procedures with two open-label psilocybin 25 mg dosing sessions among 20 participants with AUD. For the first session, participants randomized to Visual Healing viewed nature-themed videos during the preparation session and the “ascent” and “descent” phases of the psilocybin dosing session while participants randomized to the Standard condition completed a meditation during the preparatory session and wore eyeshades and listened to a music playlist throughout the dosing session. For the second session 4 weeks later, participants chose either Visual Healing or Standard procedures. Primary outcomes were feasibility, safety, and tolerability of Visual Healing. Secondary and exploratory outcomes were changes in alcohol use, psychedelic effects, anxiety and stress.ResultsNineteen of 20 (95%) randomized participants (mean age 49 ± 11 years, 60% female) completed the 14-week study. During the first psilocybin session, participants viewed an average of 37.9 min of the 42-min video and there were no video-related adverse events. Peak increase in post-psilocybin blood pressure was significantly less for participants randomly assigned to Visual Healing compared to Standard procedures. Alcohol use decreased significantly in both Visual Healing and Standard groups and psychedelic effects, stress, and anxiety were similar between groups.DiscussionIn this open-label pilot study, viewing Visual Healing videos during preparation and psilocybin dosing sessions was feasible, safe, and well-tolerated among participants with AUD. Preliminary findings suggest that Visual Healing has potential to reduce the cardiovascular risks of psychedelic therapy, without interfering with the psychedelic experience or alcohol-related treatment outcomes. Studies to replicate our findings as well as studies of different set and setting interventions with other psychedelic medications and indications are warranted
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